Nerd Journey 016: Reasons Not to Pursue a Career Opportunity Part 1/2 Before Applying

Welcome to episode 16 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode, we have Part 1 of a two-part discussion on when to stop pursuing a career opportunity.

Original recording date: 2018-11-03

Topic – Reasons not to Pursue a Career Opportunity (Pre-Application Stage), Part 1 of 2

We’re highlighting some content from a Manager Tools 10-part podcast series on choosing a company to work for

3:29 Choosing A Company To Work For – Chapter 1 – Factors To Consider Part 1

  • Compensation
    • Dig into the entire compensation package (or as much as you can in this stage)
    • Consider the risks of combination stock / cash
    • Use tools like Glassdoor to help
    • Difficult to rule something out without looking at the numbers
    • People make assumptions on how much of a pay bump would merit leaving
  • Values
    • Deeper dive later
  • Industry Stability
    • We lack a crystal ball and can rely on educational guesses
  • Reputation
    • The company’s reputation affects your reputation, whether good or bad, so consider industry perception.
    • Validation by a well-known organization can be a “short cut” to be validated by other organizations
    • The “shine” and the “stink” can go with you to a new job
  • Opportunities
    • Deeper dive later
  • Locations
  • Financials
    • This can easily be an area of oversight for many candidates
    • Financials for public companies published quarterly
  • Customer Base
    • Is the customer base growing / shrinking?
  • Additional Items
    • Some research before applying is helpful, but don’t go overboard.
    • Check the job postings on the company site
    • John gives an example of tracking changes in number of open positions at a company to get an idea of corporate health
    • John mentions his list of open VMware positions:

22:18 Choosing A Company To Work For – Chapter 3 – Values

  • Choose your Values
    • Do you know what your values are?  Introspection is required before continuing.
  • Decide which ones apply to work
    • Companies publish their values online
    • Use those when considering companies
    • A value mismatch can rule out an opportunity on the spot
    • Is the company acting in line with its stated values?

27:13 Company Culture is Complimentary to Values

  • Choosing A Company To Work For – Chapter 7 – Questions
  • John speaks to how this episode came to be
  • Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    • Physiological -> Safety -> Love/belonging -> Esteem -> Self-actualization
    • After achieving economic breathing room, one can start to consider higher-order concerns
    • Self-examination is required
    • Who am I and what does my job reflect about me?
    • How does this position mesh with my values?
    • How does this position fit with my future plans?
  • Questions from Manager Tools
    • Is there anything else that’s important to me?
      • John wanted to work with smart people who disagreed with him and who were smart in different ways from him
    • What have I liked/disliked about jobs in the past?
      • Nick talks about choosing his own adventure
      • Flexible schedule / start time
    • What conditions bring out the best in me?
      • Nick shares the lunch time hack for productivity
    • What experience/relationships do I want to cultivate?
      • John speaks to the variety of roles available and the desire to work with people in these roles
      • Nick cites being part of a large team as a great learning experience
  • See also Nerd Journey 004: Company Culture and Resume Writing.  Did we say similar things in this episode?  Tweet at us!

37:41 Choosing A Company To Work For – Chapter 6 – Opportunities (Part 1)

  • Seemed to be focused on relationship of company to the marketplace
  • Common Indicators
    • Cash/debt ratios
    • Place Of The Product In The Market Place
    • Consider longevity
    • Company Reports
    • Multiple sources of info on health of the company
    • Perks
  • Look for more Subtle Indicators

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